For those who don’t know what a driving range is, it is an area designated to golf practice.
Driving ranges make golf practice easy and fun for experienced golfers who are looking to hone their skills. They also help amateur golfers learn a few essential golf tricks when they are unable to get to the golf course for various reasons.
Many golf courses in urban areas are embracing the importance of driving ranges. As a result, they have become an integral part of today’s golf courses.
Most driving ranges are covered in natural grass, similar to what you might find on a typical golf course. However, some use synthetic grass mats which look and feel like the real thing.
Some driving ranges also have specialized areas where golfers can practice chip shots, puts, and bunker shots.
The fact that practicing on driving ranges do not necessarily conform to the traditional rules of golf has raised questions as to whether ranges do improve your golf skills. For instance, range balls are designed with durability in mind and do not necessarily conform to the standards of the balls used on a golf course.
So, do driving ranges really improve your game?
There’s an old golf saying – “practice makes permanent.” This quote features heavily in Dave Pelz training manuals. For those who might not be familiar with Pelz, he is a golf short-game specialist who has trained several major champions like Phil Mickelson.
He might be a specialist in the short game, but his advice regarding golf practice applies to driving ranges.
Pelz holds that ranges can improve your game, but this will entirely depend on your practice habits. Practicing with focus and meaning on the range can significantly hone your golf skills.
The general rule in range practice is to prioritize quality over quantity. It is more rewarding to hit 50 balls on the range than hitting 100 aimlessly. Practicing on the range will lead to better pitches, drives, and even chips during your golf tournaments.
You can consider the following golf tips:
Tips for Practising on a Driving Range
1. Plan Your Golf Range Practice Sessions
Remember Pel’z advice about emphasizing on quality over quantity?
Well, planning is one of the few ways that can help you achieve that. Hitting the golf driving range with an outline of what you intend to attain and how to achieve it will see you improve the effectiveness of your practice sessions.
Dedicate an hour or two of your practice to learning specific aspects of the game. Focus on short irons, wedge swings, hybrids, and drivers. Be sure to make each shot count. Again, focus on quality.
Do not hack through 100 balls just for the sake of doing it. Instead, play 50 shots with purpose. Be sure to go through your full pre-shot routine before taking each shot, not forgetting at least two practice swings.
2. Play on the Driving Range as if You’re on a Golf Course
After going through your warm-up routine, try to simulate playing a par four hole. Begin with a driver, and follow it up with a short iron and a wedge to a simulated green. After this, repeat the whole process.
3. Direct Your Hits to Specific Targets
Almost all ranges have small landing areas that are usually marked with yardages. To improve your accuracy and distance, try to ensure that you land your ball close to these markers or even hit them!
When deploying your driver, mimic a fairway. This can be done by aiming your shot to the areas between the two sets of markers or flags.
4. Dedicate Some Time to Short Game Practice
Today, most ranges come with practice bunkers and greens. Take advantage of these provisions to improve your short game. In fact, it is advisable to dedicate as much time — if not more — to practicing in the short-game area as you do on the golf range.
Hone your short game skills by practicing bunker shots, putts, and chips. Imagine that you just had your ball land in the bunker on your second shot. Now, try saving the day by taking a good sand shot followed by an excellent put-to-save par.
Also, seek to enhance your clutch. This can be done by attempting to sink three four-footputts consecutively.
Up Your Game Using Driving Ranges
So there you have it, the ultimate guide to making your driving range practice count.
Playing on the driving range may be different to playing on a golf course, but it is just as effective. It may also not follow the conventional golf standards, but one thing is for sure – it does make you a pro.
All you need is a little bit focus and direction.
Happy drive range golfing!